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KLI Sponsored Summers: Part 4

Posted November 23, 2015 in News, Program Corner, Student Happenings

By Issy Kelly ‘18

The final installment in our series highlighting KLI and Kravis Prize sponsored internships features KLI Social Sector Sponsored student Issy Kelly ’18. Issy served as the Fundraising and Events Intern at Right to Play UK located in her native London. She shared with us the insights she gained regarding her leadership style:

Throughout my time going to high school in London I had been involved with Right To Play (RTP) through a student-run fundraising branch of the non-profit at my school. The group would put on events such as soccer tournaments and bake sales throughout the school year to both publicize RTP as well as raise money to be donated to the non-profit. Then, in October of 2012 I had the honor of going on a field trip with RTP to visit their programs in Tanzania. Also on the trip were a number of major donors and two of Right To Play’s Athlete Ambassadors and Olympians. It was through this first hand experience, witnessing the effectiveness of the transformative power of play that inspired me to work with the charity this summer. I decided to dedicate my time as the Fundraising and Events Intern to helping Right to Play UK reach their goal of £3 million raised in 2015.

With a small office staff of ten full time employees, I had the opportunity to be intimately involved in all aspects of fundraising at Right To Play (RTP) UK and collaborate with each and every employee. I assisted in the execution of three major fundraising events throughout the summer: Right To Play Charity Day hosted by the sports league, London Sports, the Right To Play Bid to Play Match and World Cup hosted at Stamford Bridge, and a Women’s Network Breakfast and Q&A session with Martina Navratilova and Judy Murray during the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament. During the events I organized volunteers, assisted players, distributed uniforms, and acted as a representative of the charity. In addition to event planning and organizing, I worked with the office’s Finance and Operations Manager to edit and publish the non-profit’s annual report and wrote impact reports for major individual and corporate donors to retain their support and inform them of the impact of their contributions.

Working at RTP UK provided the opportunity to serve as a mentor to my co-workers. Along with aiding both the temporary work-experience participant and my fellow student intern with settling in, I was responsible for assigning and delegating their tasks. This was a new experience, as I had never taken on the role of showing someone else the ropes. I also consistently aided co-workers with their workload, even when tasks were foreign to me. For example, I volunteered to write and present a segment of a fundraising pitch at the investment bank T.D. Securities when a co-worker asked for assistance. I saw assignments like these as opportunities to gain a holistic understanding of the work typically done by staff members.

I learned that as a leader I value getting to know everyone on my team, both formally and informally, in order to work most effectively with them. I also learned that exuding a sense of controlled calm and a positive attitude when the workload was overwhelming became contagious and resulted in a less stressful office environment. By being friendly, welcoming, and positive I aimed to foster an enjoyable yet productive working environment. I believe that my fellow staff members were appreciative of this attitude as they commented on my positivity, politeness, hard work, and quality of output.

For more information about KLI Sponsored Internship opportunities please visit